Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Banff National Park

Kananaskis Range

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Mount Wintour

Three years ago today we spent time in the Kananaskis Range of the Canadian Rockies.

Opal Ridge, North Summit

Here are some of the majestic mountains we saw there. Thanks to Alberta Parks for identifying them.

Ribbon Peak

Lower Kananaskis Lake

Some happy aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) we saw along the way.

And here’s a relevant quotation for today:

  • Where do the highest mountains come from? I once asked. Then I learned that they come from out of the sea. The evidence is inscribed in their stone and in the walls of their summits. It is from the deepest that the highest must come to its height. — Friedrich NietzscheAlso Spracht Zarathustra (1883-91), Part III, Chapter 45. Translation by Graham Parkes, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (2005) p. 132.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2020 at 4:54 AM

September 4, 2017

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September 4, 2017, proved a long and adventuresome day in the Canadian Rockies. A couple of hours after heading north from Calgary we entered Banff National Park, where among intriguingly many other things I photographed the cloud-bannered fortress of rock shown in the first image. Call it Mount Rundle and you could be right.

Along the noisy edge of the Trans-Canada Highway I photographed some late-stage fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) divorced from its mountainy context.

By early afternoon we reached the famous Bow Lake.

At the far end of the day, as we headed east from Jasper to Hinton, I photographed burned trees with no water in sight.

Then, further along and with little daylight left, I found other trees not obviously charred but still seemingly dead that stood next to as much water as they could have wanted when alive. The way the water reflected the trees appealed to me.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Cascade Ponds

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“These algae looked like… mosaic art to me!” is how one online reviewer described what he saw when looking down from a little bridge into the water of Cascade Ponds outside Banff, Alberta, in the fall of 2017. When we visited on September 2nd of that year I confirmed the mosaic look and also the presence of what another online writer called “neon green algae.” That green life had lots of abstract photographic appeal for me, though whether it was a sign of ecological health or distress, I don’t know.

What I do know is that Cascade Ponds was a good place to photograph the adjacent Cascade Mountain. Notice how water in fact cascades down the mountain in a chain of waterfalls.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2018 at 4:42 AM

Monday mountains 6

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After mustering a mountain on each of the five Mondays in January, here’s one to inaugurate February: it’s Mount Jimmy Simpson in Banff National Park, Alberta, as we saw it from the Icefields Parkway on September 4, 2017, one of the few clear days on our trip. Thanks to the diligent researchers at Travel Alberta for identifying the mountain.

As a bonus, here’s a piece of an adjacent glacier:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2018 at 4:52 AM

The difference that comes from underexposing by three f/stops

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When I stopped again at Bow Lake along the Icefields Parkway on September 6th last year, in addition to taking the regularly exposed photographs you saw last time, I took a few that I underexposed by three f/stops* so I could include the sun without blowing out the pictures’ highlights. The technique allowed for some solar drama that would have been lacking in a conventional exposure. While that degree of underexposure robbed the water of its pretty blue, it partly compensated by allowing the sun to reflect some of its favored colors off the water’s surface. Also notice how clearly defined and regularly spaced the 10 rays of the sunstar are, thanks in part to a tiny aperture of f/22. Oh, the tricks we photographers resort to.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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* Cinematographers have long used that sort of underexposure in a process called day for night, whose purpose isn’t to control for the brightness of the sun but to simulate nighttime while filming in the convenience of daylight. One give-away when you watch a scene filmed that way is the presence of distinct shadows that shouldn’t be there at night.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Bow Lake revisited

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What goes up must come down, or so they say. Even if that’s not always true, it was true for us with regard to Alberta’s scenic Icefields Parkway. On September 4th last year we drove up it and on September 6th we came back down. You’ve already seen a conventional view and two abstract views of Bow Lake from the northbound trip. Now add a couple of looks at the lake from our southbound trip, which gave us smoky haze rather than the clarity of two days earlier. Nevertheless, you can still see the beautiful color imparted to the lake’s water by what’s known as rock flour or glacial flour. You can also confirm that some patches of snow and ice remained in the adjacent mountains even at the warmest time of the year.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Monday mountains 4

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The many Mondays this month let you marvel at mountains. This time it’s the grand sweep of Cirrus Mountain in the northern part of Banff National Park, Alberta, recorded on September 4, 2017. Thanks to the good folks at Travel Alberta for the identification.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Monday mountains 2

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On this month’s five Mondays you’re getting a look at mountains. Today it’s Cascade Mountain in Banff, Alberta, as I saw it on September 2, 2017. You can tell how quickly the clouds were moving by comparing their positions and the positions of their shadows on the mountain in a photograph taken 13 seconds later:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 8, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Monday mountains 1

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Making much of aleatory alliteration, let’s launch into 2018 with photographs of momentous mountains on the five Mondays in January this year.

Today’s first of the five, from September 4, 2017, is Mount Victoria in Banff National Park, Alberta. Thanks to the good folks at Travel Alberta for identifying this.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2018 at 4:49 AM

A welcome imposition

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What better to be imposed on by than the imposing structure that is Castle Mountain? We drove parallel to it along the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park on September 2, one of the few clear days we had on our trip to the Canadian Rockies.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2017 at 7:40 AM

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